Week 12

Downsview Secondary School
Student of the Week
Week of December 10, 2018

Marlon D.

Downsview, for the week of December 7th, your Student of the Week is Marlon D.
Marlon is in the twelfth grade at Downsview.

The staff at DSS has a lot to say about Marlon. Here we go, first from Ms Yasi: “Marlon.

When I hear that name all it brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. I’ve known Marlon for a year and a half and it has been my honour and a privilege to work with him, both as his teacher and Boys to Men staff advisor. Without question he is a dedicated leader here at Downsview.  In this short time I’ve witnessed him grow from a rambunctious, mischievous ‘youth’  to an eloquent young gentlemen whose capacity to aspire never ceases to impress me.

Marlon is a senior executive member of Boys to Men and consistently works to improve the dynamic of our Leadership Group. He plays an integral role in unifying, leading and empowering our younger members. He recognizes that young men today face many obstacles to their success and he’s dedicated to understanding and challenging these barriers.

Through his participation in Black Brilliance and Boys to Men, Marlon has taken on the large responsibility of creating a safe space for young men to discuss more openly their feelings on sensitive issues. As a role model he consistently encourages our young men to consider how their attitudes and behaviours affect others and pushes them to challenge the stereotypes that they face through open and courageous dialogue. Marlon, I’m so very proud of you. Every step you’ve taken has brought you here. Each mistep has been an opportunity for your continued learning and growth. Always keep it moving forward. The places you’ll go, and all you will achieve are endless.”

Now, hear this, from Ms Johnson: “Marlon was an excellent leader during the black brilliance conference. He lead a workshop that addressed important issues that young black men are facing. Continue to spread your word, your truth, your roots and rise to your full potential!” And from Ms Khona: “Marlon is a bright young man with much potential. When Marlon is focused and on task he shines. He also has quite the sense of humour.”

Silvana reached out with these words: “Marlon, Congratulations! Your smile lights up the school. Thank you for always wanting to lend a hand to make Downsview a better place. Keep smiling and don’t let anyone dim your light.” And from Ms Delavinias: “My words about Marlon - or as I like to call him, MARLONE are these: Marlon is a student with an amazing personality, sense of humour and a huge heart. My first story about Marlon was from a grade 9 geography field trip, and we will just leave it at that. Marlon, you are a great leader, with lots of potential and I am very happy that you are Student of the Week. P.S.: Puma sweater.”

Finally, hear this, from Mr Wallace: “For years, Marlon has been dealing with one of the most annoying phrases any student has to hear: ‘he has potential.’ That word potential feels like a trap sometimes: gotta be serious, can't have any fun. And worse, people have expectations. Even if you do have what it takes, why would you want to take on that burden? The answer is there, waiting for us: when you are ready, the expectations will be worth it. What is inside needs to be shared. Marlon, starting last spring, has started to test himself, asking himself the question: "Am I ready?" Not in every moment, not on every day, but more and more, the answer is yes. Boys to Men, football, stepping in during an emergency, and Black Brilliance are examples. Take Black Brilliance, for example. Marlon took a leadership role on developing and delivering the workshop on The Stereotypes of Black Males, a tough but important subject that needs to be handled with strength and sensitivity. Marlon could have turned away, he could have decided to step back. But instead, when all eyes were on him, he delivered. He was more than ready. As Jamil Jovani said last year, when he visited Boys to Men, ‘we, when young people, are not yet our best selves. Make decisions that will allow your best self to emerge.’ If recent months are any indication, Marlon's best self is going to be awesome.”

Marlon, much has been said from many admirers. Over to you. Clearly, you have earned the title: Student of the Week.